Sometimes…


Sometimes I don’t want to wear the big boy pants. Especially when I’m not feeling so adult, or even competent.
I need to listen more, and to learn not to spread myself so thin. I get caught up in things, enthusiastic, and sometimes will go off without completely understanding what I’m trying to accomplish, or why.

There are times when I miss key details. Because I want to badly to DO GOOD. To be PART OF THINGS.
“Yeah,” you say, “don’t we all?”

Well, yeah. But I’ve been a certified “weird person” all of my life. Couldn’t help it. I’m still a misfit most places. Hell, everywhere.

Certainly there are a lot of folks that feel the same way. And I’ve met some of them, since the internet came into my life. And lots of people are “weirder” than I.
But I didn’t know them, then. I was just alone. School was no challenge at all, so boring that I would get disruptive. I used to actually get sick to my stomach, listening to the droning about stuff that I figured out years before.
Didn’t learn to hide my brains until I was in high school. I was five foot nothing and had the biggest glasses, and for a while, orthopedic shoes.
But I was good at things. People hated that, too. I could hit a ball, and throw a ball, and run real fast.
Used to have to fight my way home from school, when I lived on the South Side with the kids of the firemen and the police and the rest of the middle of the middle class, up from their parents’ blue collar roots.
That didn’t shut me up. I knew they were wrong.
They just couldn’t see things the way I could. Even the teachers were on their side. They’d say so, and send me out into the hall to read a book.
Ooooo, punishment.
Eventually I got tired of getting my ass kicked and then having my mom yell at me about the knee in my new pants.
I ran.
We moved during the white flight, but things didn’t change much for me. School was still boring. There was no real incentive to do well.
Disruption. Misbehavior.
A couple of times, I had half a busful of kids chasing me home.

Outside, I was crying, and sweating to get away.

Inside, I was laughing my ass off.

Eventually, as said above, I grew out of that, and would only exhibit braniac tendencies in school papers. I was never real good at showing up for class. Passed a lot of them because of private meetings with the teachers and principals. It was clear I could do the work. I just “didn’t apply myself.”
There was no reason to. I was planning on joining the Air Force, like my dad did. Never told anyone, just planned on it.
I grew a foot or so between my first and third years. That helped some. Being little can be paralyzing. You know that, no matter what you do, you’re not strong enough, it’s not gonna hurt enough, to get you out of trouble.

I have this socially maladjusted grand-daughter. She’s going through a lot of the same stuff, feeling the same way. The difference is that she isn’t book-smart, or street-smart.
But she thinks she’s right, too.
I feel for her. I understand. But if she doesn’t want to listen, doesn’t want to change, I can’t help her.
Her problem, with me as with everyone else, is that she doesn’t observe social niceties. She’s completely self-absorbed, mean and spiteful or babbling a mile a minute, complete nonsense. No middle ground.
Doesn’t turn on the nice until after she has to.

Not the same problem, but parallel.
I think I communicate better with her than her other adult caregivers, but I don’t mince words. I won’t sugarcoat truths.
She lies like a rug. I did that for many years. I learned how to control that imagination, how to make it work for me. She doesn’t care. She has little sense of ethics.

The big problem for me is, all of the other kids in her age group seem the same way. Self-gratification is the only thing.
I fear the future that they’re not planning for.

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